On dealing with doubt
by Carol Yasin
“And immediately Jesus stretched forth His Hand and caught him and said unto him, ‘O you of little Faith; why did you doubt’?” Matthew 14:31
It’s one of satan’s favourite tools and he enjoys seeing us use it on ourselves.
No one really needs to tell us what this is, for all of us have most likely grappled with it at one time or another. Some more than others. Yet, there comes the point that we must recognise it for what it is and engage in spiritual warfare against it; otherwise, it’ll do great damage, discouraging and disabling us.
In reality, doubt and double-mindedness come from the same root of fear and/or faithlessness. Both of them leave us unsure of ourselves or what we should do as we vacillate or waver between two or more opinions/options: “Should I do this or that?”. . . “Which way should I go?” . . .“What will happen if I do this?”. . .“I’m not sure if I should proceed or not,” etc., etc., etc.
Doubt will cause us to shrink back, while double-minded us will cause us to be indecisive. Either way, we’ll lack the confidence to move forward or be so unsure of ourselves if/when we do that our effectiveness will be greatly affected.
It’s interesting that Jesus’ first words to Peter after he cried “Lord, save me!” (v.30) were “O you of little Faith; why did you doubt?” Hadn’t Peter stepped out of the boat to come to Him when no one else would? Hadn’t he demonstrated true, Christ-like Faith when he walked on the water even as Jesus did?
Most assuredly he had.
However, in Peter’s case (and most likely in ours) we never reach a place where we possess “perfect” Faith. Abraham didn’t—for he listened to Sarai’s voice instead of God’s and had a child by Hagar (Gen. 16:1-2). Job didn’t—for he repeatedly wished he never been born and even accused God of putting a target on him (Job 16:12). Elijah didn’t—for he felt all alone and wished God would put him out of his misery, even though he’d just had a great day atop Mt. Carmel (I Kings 19:1-4).
Doubt is insidious. It’s also infectious.
It doesn’t take too many folks shouting “Woe is me” or “Abandon ship” to get others to join in their chorus of “doom, despair and agony on me.” Such is the nature of the beast within us. However, that’s where we must lift high the “Shield of Faith and quench those fiery darts of doubt” (Eph. 6:16). Then, we must not allow this devious, devilish tool to have free reign in our hearts and minds; instead, we must cast it out even as we would a poisonous snake!
The best antidote for doubt is a declaration of Faith in “Who God is and what He has promised” (Heb. 11:6). Will yourself to “cast down those imaginations (speculations, surmising, etc.) and bring every thought into Jesus’ control” (II Cor. 10:5). Then, allow His Presence and Promises to flood your mind, reminding you that He knows your needs and will supply them. He’s faithful (I Cor. 10:13). So, trust Him. Then, rest.